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Fetal harm: Zoloft lawsuit in Philadelphia court

Making the decision to continue taking prescription medications is a tough choice for many expecting mothers. Growing a healthy baby is the number one priority, but maintaining maternal health is imperative to developing a healthy fetus. Philadelphia birth injury attorneys witnessed the filing of a recent lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer after a baby was born with birth defects.

The baby was born with multiple birth defects, including patent ductus arteriosus, a condition that causes an abnormal flow of blood from the heart. The mother says she was prescribed Zoloft when pregnant even though it had not been FDA approved as safe for pregnant women to take.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the lawsuit alleges that Pfizer knew or should have known that the antidepressant Zoloft caused a higher risk of fetal abnormalities. This language is key in a product liability case, and the mother claims that Pfizer had a duty to warn consumers about the dangers of its product and failed to do so.

Pharmaceuticals may go through rigorous testing before becoming available to the public, but it is necessary for both pharmaceutical companies and doctors to ensure that drugs are safe for the intended patient, and that includes the fetus of a pregnant woman.

Someone whose baby was born with birth defects after a gestational period involving prescription drugs may want to investigate whether or not the drugs were approved for a pregnant woman to take. Doctors are responsible for conveying the risks of prescription drugs to patients, and pharmaceutical companies have a duty to inform doctors of those risks. Any failure in that chain can result in lifelong injury, and families deserve compensation for the medical bills and pain and suffering.

Source: Injury Lawyer News, "Kentucky Mother Sues Pfizer Over Child's Zoloft Birth Defects," Tracy Ray, Jan. 28, 2013

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